Reef fishes on Kona reef: none of these species may be collected under the new West Hawaii White List rules. Image: Wiki Commons

Reef fishes on Kona reef: Raccoon Butterflies may no longer be collected under the new West Hawaii White List rules. Image: Brocken Inaglory/Wiki Commons

West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area


After several years of debate, the State of Hawaii in December, 2013, passed a new set of Rules governing the harvest (“take”) of marine species from the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area. This area falls along the west coast of the island of Kona or Big Island, and is the largest source of marine fishes for the aquarium trade. According to a statement from the Hawaii Department of Land and Aquatic Resources: “This measure will help protect populations of species that are rare, potentially overfished and/or are not suitable for home aquariums. This rule will reduce the threat of population decline of rare species, a major concern of stakeholders interested in the the long-term health and biodiversity of our coral reefs.” The Rule does not affect other places where aquarium fishers work, notably the island of Oahu.

The following are the only marine fishes that may be legally collected for sale in the marine aquarium trade. Species not on the list may not be taken in this area.

1. Yellow Tang, Zebrasoma flavescens

2. Chevron Tang, Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis

3. Goldring Surgeonfish, Ctenochaetus strigosus

4. Achilles Tang, Acanthurus achilles

5. Tinker’s Butterflyfish, Chaetodon tinkeri

6. Clown Tang, Naso lituratus

7. Forcepsfish, Forcipiger flavissimus

8. Goldrim Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricans

9. Potter’s Angelfish, Centropyge potteri

10. Fourspot Butterflyfish, Chaetodon quadrimaculatus

11. Yellowtail Coris, Coris gaimard

12. Ornate Wrasse, Halichoeres ornatissimus

13. Orangeband Surgeonfish, Acanthurus olivaceus

14. Bird Wrasse, Gomphosus varius

15. Eyestripe Surgeonfish, Acanthurus dussumieri

16. Multiband Butterflyfish, Chaetodon multicinctus

17. Saddle Wrasse, Thalassoma duperrey

18. Brown Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigrofuscus

19. Flame Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus jordani

20. Thompson’s Surgeonfish, Acanthurus thompsoni

21. Peacock Grouper, Cephalopholis argus

22. Bluestripe Snapper, Lutjanus kasmira

23. Redbarred Hawkfish, Cirrhitops fasciatus

24. Psychedelic Wrasse, Anampses chrysocephalus

25. Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby, Canthigaster jactator

26. Fisher’s Angelfish, Centropyge fisheri

27. Hawaiian Dascyllus, Dascyllus albisella

28. Milletseed Butterflyfish, Chaetodon miliaris

29. Blacklip Butterflyfish, Chaetodon kleinii

30. Pyramid Butterflyfish, Hemitaurichthys polylepis

31. Shortnose Wrasse, Macropharyngodon geoffroyi

32. Black Durgon, Melichthys niger

33. Spotted Boxfish, Ostracion meleagris

34. Blackside Hawkfish, Paracirrhites forsteri

35. Hawaiian Longfin Anthias, Pseudanthias hawaiiensis

36. Eightstripe Wrasse, Pseudocheilinus octotaenia

37. Fourstripe Wrasse, Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia

38. Smalltail Wrasse, Pseudojuloides cerasinus

39. Lei Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa

40. Gilded Triggerfish, Xanthichthys auromarginatus

New Rules for West Hawaii “AQ” Collectors

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